OLHZN-21 was the twenty-first high altitude weather balloon flight for Overlook Horizon High Altitude Balloons.  This flight launched on September 23, 2019 at 2:51:40pm PDT (21:51:40 UTC) from Las Vegas, NV. This flight was a top-secret collaboration project with the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights to honor the “opening knight” of their third hockey season on October 2, 2019 against the San Jose Sharks and set a new VGK Worldwide Record for the Highest Altitude Puck Drop.  The Vegas Golden Knights elected to fly a weather balloon to the edge of space and back and send their ceremonial ice hockey puck “out of this world” to the stratosphere and then drop the puck on the ice for opening night!

Equipment Used for this Fight:

Flight Info

The maximum altitude achieved for this flight was 94,656 FT. (28,851 m) MSL which occurred 105 minutes into the flight at 4:37:38pm PDT (23:37:38 UTC).

This payload landed 40.98 mi. (65.94 km) downrange from the launch site. The final landing occurred 2 hours, 16 minutes & 22 seconds after launch at 35.988609, -116.380341 at an altitude of 2,641 FT. (805 m)

The minimum recorded temperature was -54 °F (-47 °C) which occurred at an altitude of 63,883 FT. (19,472 m)

The maximum recorded temperature was 93 °F (33 °C) which occurred at an altitude of 2,391 FT. (729 m)

The maximum recorded horizontal ground speed was 56 mph (90 km/h) which occurred at an altitude of 47,512 FT. (14,482 m)

The fastest vertical free-fall speed achieved after balloon burst was recorded at 73 mph (117 km/h). This measurement occurred at an altitude of 70,579 FT. (21,512 m) shortly after the balloon burst event at 94,656 FT. (28,851 m) MSL.  Note that this descent was particularly violent for the first 25,000 FT. so we were unable to receive any radio positioning reports and/or measure the fastest part of the free-fall descent speed.  The descent was likely faster during the unmeasured time.


This week, the Golden Knights set a #VGKWorldwide record by bringing the Opening Knight puck into space via weather balloon! Watch the entire process unfold. #VegasBorn

Posted by Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Flight Data

Below is the collected flight data during the flight.  Note that this flight, in particular, had a much smaller sample size and recorded data points every 30 to 60 seconds as it used our micro-tracking system.  Other flights typically use our large flight computer and record data points every 1 second.

Flight Path Prediction vs. Actual

This map shows the pre-flight prediction path (purple) vs. the actual measured flight path (red).

Technical Specifications

  • Launch Time: September 23, 2019 at 2:51:40pm PDT (21:51:40 UTC)

  • Launch Location: 36.568525120365, -116.53036547781 at 2,391 FT. (729 m)

  • Ascent Rate: 871fpm (4.42 m/s)

  • Burst Altitude: 94,656 FT. (28,851 m) MSL

  • Time to Burst: 105 minutes

  • Descent Time: 30 minutes

  • Descent Rate: 2,548fpm (12.94 m/s)

  • Landing Location: 35.988609, -116.380341 at 2,641 FT. (805 m)

  • Downrange Landing Distance: 40.98 mi. (65.94 km)

  • Landing Time: September 23, 2019 at 5:08:02pm EDT (00:08:02 UTC)

  • Total Flight Time: 2 hours, 16 minutes & 22 seconds

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